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Beyond the Bale : September November 2009
Italian chic inspires Hong Kong traders AWI organised a study tour to Italy for members of the Hong Kong wool apparel industry to help sustain the industry's competitiveness against rival fibres during the global downturn in the apparel trade. Hong Kong is a global hub for sourcing wool garments, particularly for the major US and European brands, because it is the gateway for southern and eastern Chinese wool processors and manufacturers. During the tour to Italy, at the start of July, the Hong Kong delegation learnt about product developments in the Italian wool textile industry and the latest fashion innovations and trends. In Biella, the delegates were given training at two spinners, Zegna Baruffa and Tollegno 1900, a dye house Filatura Cardata Bracco Livio and the textile engineering faculty at the Polytechnic University of Turin (Biella campus). They also received training and advice from staff of AWI's Biella office. In Milan, the delegation visited several retailers of brands such as Prada, Benetton, Gucci and Louis Vuitton to gain an understanding of current fashion trends. The study tour ended with a visit to the influential Pitti Filati yarn trade show in Florence. AWI's business development manager for Hong Kong Alex Lai says the study tour was very successful with delegates providing positive feedback: "Seeing first-hand the skills of the Italians in spinning and dyeing has enhanced the delegates' practical experience," Alex says. "Plus, knowledge of the current trends of the major brands in Milan and the Pitti Filati yarn show will help inspire their knitwear designs." The vice-president of McCall Knitters Ltd, Stephen Law, who was one of the delegates, agreed that the training tour had been very beneficial. "I was particularly impressed by the presentation from the AWI office on trends for the autumn/winter 2010-11 season. I will have no hesitation in promoting the messages to my clients," Mr Law says. "This was a success for AWI and Woolmark in respect of design and trend information. I trust and believe that AWI's effort will be appreciated and well accepted by the trade." The delegation members were from the Hong Kong textile trade, including knitting companies, brands, a testing house and an exhibition organiser. The tour was organised by AWI in conjunction with Hong Kong's Clothing Industry Training Authority (CITA) and the Hong Kong Institution of Textile and Apparel (HKITA). 12 SELLING MORE WOOL September -- November 2009 BEYOND THE BALE KEY POINTS l AWI helped organise a study tour to Italy for members of the Hong Kong wool apparel industry to enhance delegates' practical experience of Merino wool. l AWI aims to encourage the use of wool in delegates' apparel collections. l Hong Kong is a crucial global hub for sourcing wool garments. Members of the Hong Kong textile industry learning about wool on their tour in Italy.
June August 2009